Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces told the press today that in 2014 his service will conduct as many as 16 launches of ballistic missiles - twice as many as this year. He also provided a useful breakdown of the eight launches in 2013 - three were conducted "to develop new combat payloads", two - "to extend service life of missiles", and three as part of space launches.

The 2014 plan is fairly detailed as well: of the 16 launches two will be conducted to extend service life of existing missiles, 11 - as part of "experimental work on development of missiles, combat payloads, and missile defense penetration measures. The remaining three launches will include a single space launch, a launch to test a serial production missile, and a combat training launch.

It is interesting to note that the Kosmotras company that carries out space launches of converted R-36MUTTH ICBMs, known as Dnepr, has a fairly ambitious plan for 2014 - seven launches. Probably Karakayev, who lists only one launch in this category, knows something that Kosmotras doesn't. Also, there a Strela launch that is scheduled to take place from Baykonur on February 24th, 2014. [UPDATE: Karakayev said that Strela launches is a Roscosmos territory, so these are unlikely to count.]

The "serial production test" launch looks quite intriguing - it appears to imply that there is an ICBM that is just entering serial production. I don't think it is RS-24 Yars. Maybe RS-26? I hope we'll find out.

In any event, the 16-launches plan is probably not realistic. It is worth noting that the Rocket Forces were planning to launch 16 ICBMs as well in 2013, but ended up having half as many.